As we finish going through the recording of the April 16, 2015 meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Gateway Services Community Development District, we’re left with one final bit of news to report.
It’s possible that this won’t be news to some of you who have lived here awhile, but it was certainly news to us.
At the end of each meeting the Supervisors are afforded the opportunity to make a final statement to the residents. When it was her turn, GSCDD Vice-Chairman and Gateway Sun reader Margaret Fineberg made an announcement.
“I’d like to just make one comment to set the record straight on something else that I read about myself on the internet – that I had no idea until I read it on the internet. I have never in the past, currently, or in the future will I ever be in favor of Gateway being annexed in to the City of Fort Myers,” said Fineberg.
The record has been set straight.
There is no need to say anything more about it.
“I even made that point quite clear …”
“…. to Mayor Jim Humphrey when I worked for the City of Fort Myers… Much to his – I’m sure – unhappiness, but I said ‘no thank you’ my taxes are high enough as they are. So I just want to put that on the record so that it doesn’t keep popping up.”
It’s official. Fineberg has placed it on the record that she does not want Gateway annexed in to Fort Myers.
But what Fineberg also placed on the record … is that the previous mayor of Fort Myers did want Gateway to be annexed in to his city.
So much so that Humphrey discussed the concept with Fineberg and he was disappointed when Fineberg wouldn’t go along with it. She apparently had to tell Humphrey “no thank you”.
Humphrey was the mayor of Fort Myers from 2000 to 2009.
The thing that Fineberg ‘read about herself on the internet’ that prompted her to make her statement at the last GSCDD meeting was a post made on the Sun’s Facebook page by one of our readers which said that Fineberg “used to work for a Fort Myers councilman and tried to get Gateway annexed into the city.”
It is true that Fineberg did work with Fort Myers Councilman Tom Leonardo – and Leonardo has been very open about his wishes to annex Gateway. So that might be where our reader got a bit confused.
Leonardo is still a councilman to this day. He caused a stir last year when he proposed the idea of Fort Myers taking control of Gateway, even telling NBC-2, “I think it’ll be a good thing for (Gateway).”
Predictably, the idea of being annexed reached turd-in-the-punchbowl levels of popularity with Gateway residents. Some even vowed to fight against Leonardo in his next election, but that won’t be necessary as the councilman announced last month he won’t be running again.
And to be clear: just because Leonardo says he wants to get his grubby little hands on our community, it doesn’t mean that Fineberg agrees with the idea.
In fact, we completely and unequivocally take her at her word that she doesn’t.
But Fineberg and Leonardo have a working history, and there are rumors that some of the people who have helped out Leonardo politically are lending support to Fineberg as well.
So while it’s understandable that Fineberg doesn’t want the annexing issue to “keep popping up” – it may be inevitable.
Especially when she brings it up herself.